"He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." (NIV) Mark 8:26
"The storm is coming," I remember my dad saying when we knew a big rain storm was coming. He liked the big storms. He used to stand in the garage and watch the lightening light up the sky. He always wanted me to join him. Nope, not me. That wasn't my idea of a good time. To watch that truly scared everything in me - and still does today.
Recently, the east coast had some severe weather. It seems like that is happening a lot these days all across our country. Difficult weather through rain, flooding, heat, fires, etc. Yet, the storm that has always had an impact on me when I read about it is the storm that Jesus calmed on the lake with the disciples. It has always amazed me how Jesus just stands up, tells the waters to calm, and that's exactly what happened. It is a beautiful picture of Jesus calming the fears of the disciples - those closest to him - with a few words from his mouth.
I think of that story and know that I often act as one of those disciples. I am the one to get into the boat with Jesus, to try and live my life the way he wants me to, to believe everything he has ever taught us in the Bible. Yet, as the disciples did that evening, I fail to have the faith that he wants me to have. I try to live with the boldness and courage that we as Christians can live by. Yet, there are times when my faith is not strong, when I become afraid.
Yes, I have to admit, many of those times are when there are storms in my life. When the winds and the waves become tumultuous, when the problems seem too great to bear, I seem to fold under the pressure. Just as the disciples said to Jesus, "We're going to drown," I also feel that I might drown - drown in all the things that are going on in my life. Maybe I have so much to do I don't believe it will ever get done. Maybe I want harmony and peace that just doesn't seem to be around me. Maybe there are financial struggles. Whatever the storm is, I tend to wait until I am right in the middle of it before I pray, before I "wake up Jesus" to my problems.
As we know, he is there all along. He is there long before the problems started building. He is there far before the storms. He is with us each and every waking moment. It is up to me to cry out to my Lord. It is up to me to ask for the help. It is up to me to trust my Lord - truly trust him with all that I know. Then it is up to me to wait for his love to surround me. I need to have the faith that he wants me to have. I need to not be afraid of any part of the storm - the lightening, the thunder, the wind and the waves. He is with me - and will always take care of me.
Are you facing a storm in your life right now? Do the days seem to bring stormy weather? Remember, we have one on OUR side that watches over us, takes care of us, and calms the storm. Settle into the boat with Jesus. Give him your storms and have faith that he will calm the waters you are in. Picture your boat mate - picture Jesus holding your hand as he calms the raging waters. He is there for you - trust in him.
"Heavenly Father, thank you for being the one to calm our storms. We know you are there for us to rely upon and to bring us to calmer waters. May we always reach out to you and have faith that our lives will be more wonderful with the hope in our future with you. Grant us the peace that comes with calmer waters, and the faith to know you are in control, Jesus. In your gracious name we pray, Amen."